ASIATODAY.ID, DUBAI – The 10th Facilitative Working Group (10th FWG) Local Communities and Indigenous People Platform (LCIPP) Road to UNFCCC COP28 meeting was held on 25 – 28 November 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
At the meeting, Indonesia was called a world role model for community-based climate resilience, especially indigenous communities, by Pirawan Wongnithisathaporn, Program Office Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation Thailand.
At the meeting attended by representatives of 14 regional Indigenous communities in the world, Indonesia, which is part of the UN Regional Group Asia Pacific, was represented by Bambang Supriyanto, Director General of Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships, who delivered recommendations regarding the development of recognition of Indigenous Peoples and the Social Forestry program, as well as multi-party collaboration in empowerment efforts based on local wisdom for forest sustainability and alternative livelihoods.
Bambang said that Indonesia is a rich country that has 1,128 ethnicities, 718 languages spread across 76,655 villages in the archipelago, which has become capital in the country’s development through the motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”. This is reinforced by the regulations stated in Law Number 41 of 1999 concerning Forestry, where it is stated that the existence of Customary Law Communities and their territories is recognized by the state and determined through regional regulations.
Meanwhile, he continued, communities that are not categorized as Customary Law Communities are recognized as local communities. The existence of these local communities is recognized through the Social Forestry Program which aims to provide access to forest management to communities living in forest areas and also efforts to alleviate poverty.
Bambang further said that from 2016 to 2023, the Indonesian Government had issued 131 Customary Forest Decrees spread across 18 provinces and 40 districts with a total area of around 244,195 hectares and involving 76,079 heads of families.
Meanwhile, in 2023, there will be an additional 23 Customary Forests with an area of 90,873 hectares, with an indicative Customary Forest area of 836,141 hectares spread across 16 provinces.
Based on this presentation, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation Thailand Program Office, Mr. Pirawan Wongnithisathaporn praised and appreciated what the Indonesian Government had done.
“Fortunately, Indonesia has a government that is active in recognizing Indigenous traditions, which is different from Thailand. “Therefore, Indonesia can become a role model for the international world,” said Mr. Pirawan Wongnithisathaporn, Program Office Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation Thailand.
The increase in the number and area of Customary Forests in Indonesia was influenced by cooperation between the center and regions which encouraged the issuance of regional regulations for Customary Law Communities and the implementation of field verification by the Integrated Team. This strategy is an important breakthrough, so there is no doubt that every year there is an increase in recognition of Indigenous Law Communities and the extent of their living areas.
The target for Social Forestry in Indonesia is 12.7 million hectares, spread across coastal forest ecosystems, peatlands and land forests, and by September 2023, the Government has succeeded in distributing 9,642 units of Social Forestry Permits covering an area of ± 6.3 million hectares spread across in all forest area functions managed by 1.3 million heads of families or nearly 5 million people as beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, social forestry-based forest management is also carried out in Nepal, only the difference is that apart from providing access to state forest management, the government also provides assistance and access to capital and markets.
“This is a complete package for productivity and added value for alternative livelihoods,” said Pema Wangmo LAMA, Program Coordinator of the National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF) Nepal.
Furthermore, Bambang also emphasized that after the establishment of Customary Forests, assistance needs to be provided so that local wisdom and traditional knowledge can be maintained by indigenous communities through multi-stakeholder collaborative work supported by the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget, Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget, and multilateral funds and philanthropy.
The general public’s concern is manifested in the form of strengthening customary forests through philanthropic funding coordinated by the Environmental Fund Management Agency which has raised philanthropic funding from 4 international institutions to support 108 Indigenous Communities.
Another multi-party budget is funding for emission reduction based on result based payments from the Green Climate Fund and Norway.
Apart from that, the Indonesian government also collaborates with international institutions, namely: KfW and also the World Bank through the Forest Program project in Sanggau, West Kalimantan and the Social Forestry Strengthening Project in 4 (four) provinces in order to increase multi-stakeholder assistance activities, such as: increasing capacity of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples, facilitation and strengthening of livelihoods, as well as improving sustainable forest management.
Regarding the contribution of Social Forestry to reducing emissions, it is stated that, “We calculated the forest cover of the 4.06 million hectares of Social Forestry Forest and Other Land Use (FOLU) targets during the 2016 to 2021 period compared to the 2006 to 2015 period as FREL (reference emission level forests), the implementation of Social Forestry can contribute 31.9 million tonnes of CO2eq towards increasing national carbon reserves to achieve FOLU Net Sink,” said Bambang.
In conclusion, Bambang emphasized that the role of the community is very important in mitigating climate change through the Social Forestry program considering that when the community has social investment in forests intended for the community and gets benefits from these forests, then “automatically” the community will preserve their forest areas and protect from forest fires and illegal logging. (AT Network)
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